• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Deutsche Bahn makes pay offer to train drivers

DPA/The Local · 17 Oct 2014, 17:10

Published: 17 Oct 2014 09:33 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 Oct 2014 17:10 GMT+02:00

The pay rise, which according to news agency dpa would come into play over the next 18 months in three stages, meets one of the drivers' union's key demands.

The GDL union announced the strike, starting on Saturday at 2am until Monday at 4am, on Friday morning. Freight drivers will start their strike earlier at 3pm on Friday.

It will hit tens of thousands of passengers on city S-Bahn trains, regional and intercity services.

Many people who were planning to depart for or return from their autumn school holidays could be stranded and the trains put on for the weekend's football matches will all be affected.

And the freight traffic strike could have severe consequences for businesses who depend on the railways, experts warned.

Deutsche Bahn has put an emergency timetable in place which will allow some trains to run despite a weekend-long strike by drivers' union GDL

“This is a catastrophe,” said Gunnar Gburek of the Federal Association for Logistics and Purchasing said. “Even if there aren't breaks in production, companies will suffer financial losses.”

“The parties should restart their discussions immediately,” Transport Minister Alexander Dobrint told the Passauer Neue Presse. “The only solution is around the negotiating table.”

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) asked customers to check its website or call its free hotline on 08000 99 66 33 for details of the replacement timetable.

It offered to refund tickets and allow all passengers to use pre-booked tickets on alternative routes and departures.

'Union fantasies'

DB earlier accused GDL leader Claus Weselsky of "losing all sense of proportion" after he announced the 50-hour strike.

“GDL is running amok,” a statement on the DB website read. "This isn't about the interests of train drivers, but the omnipotence fantasies of a union official.”

It is the GDL's third strike since last week and will cause further chaos on Germany's trains, which only returned to a normal service on Thursday following a 14-hour walkout by drivers on Wednesday.

But Weselsky accused Deutsche Bahn on Friday of being all talk and no action.

DB must “end its stonewalling on the back of its customers and negotiate speedily with the GDL,” Weselsky said.

In response to DB's claim that they are willing to negotiate, he said: “This statement sounds good but is without substance.”

The GDL called for Deutsche Bahn to address their concerns over working hours, pay and union representation. “It’s time DB accepts the facts," Weselsky said.

“Our employer knows that we're also ready to make concessions in substantial negotiations.”

DB drivers have received a minimum two-percent wage increase every year since 2008 and in 2008 were given an 11 percent wage rise, following the last big dispute between the union and rail operator.

But the union wants a five-percent pay increase and a two-hour cut to the working week, reducing it to 37 hours, as well as the right to represent a larger proportion of DB staff in wage negotiations.

Travellers fed up

Story continues below…

Some people took to Twitter to vent their feelings about the strike.

SEE ALSO: The man who stopped Germany's trains

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'We'll freeze Turkey talks' warns EU as arrests continue
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched a radical purge against anyone suspected of complicity in the coup attempt. Photo: DPA

As Turkish authorities on Friday widened their sweeping post-coup crackdown to the business sector, the European Union's enlargement commissioner implicitly warned that the bloc would freeze Turkey's accession talks if the crackdown violated the rule of law.

I’m ashamed of Germany’s refugee failure: Green leader
Cem Özdemir. Photo: DPA

The head of the Green Party has responded angrily to Angela Merkel’s speech on refugees on Friday, saying he feels “ashamed at Germany’s failure".

German satirists mock Erdogan (and his penis)
Photo: DPA

Tempting fate?

Huge pro-Erdogan rally puts strain on Turkish community
Erdogan supporters at a rally in 2014. Photo: DPA

Tens of thousands of supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plan to rally in Cologne on Sunday, as tensions over Turkey's failed coup have put German authorities on edge.

Opinion
How the Berlin startup scene is wasting its potential
Photo: DPA

"The truth is, there really isn't a truly successful international Berlin startup."

Five years' jail for German darknet weapons dealer
Photo: DPA

He had sold weapons to known Isis-sympathizers and far-right extremists.

Prickly Bavarian calls out cops on hedgehogs' noisy sex
Photo: DPA

Caught in the act.

International or German state school - which one's best?
Photo: DPA

Deciding between sending your child to a German state school or a private international school isn't easy. Max Bringmann has experienced both.

13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make

Sure-fire ways to get off on the wrong foot in the German language.

Captain Schweinsteiger retires from international football
Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photo: DPA

He has won a World Cup with Die Mannschaft and captained them at Euro 2016. On Friday Bastian Schweinsteiger announced his retirement from the national team.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
10,718
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd